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Win $22,500 and more through TechHub's pitch competition

The competition will provide an opportunity for residents of Saskatchewan, 16 years of age and older, to submit an original technology-based idea and compete for a chance to win seed money and other opportunities to bring their idea to life.
On top of seed money, Southeast Techhub's Pitch Competition winner will have space at the hub at no cost for a year. 

ESTEVAN — The Southeast Techhub has announced the first-ever Southeast Pitch Competition, sponsored by SaskPower, starting in September.

The competition will provide an opportunity for residents of Saskatchewan, 16 years of age and older, to submit an original technology-based idea and compete for a chance to win seed money and other opportunities to bring their idea to life.

All submissions must be the entrant's original idea and technology-based in nature, such as software, electronic hardware or an engineered process in any field or industry.

"People need to submit their ideas to the website. And the main goal is to ensure that the people's idea is technology-based innovation-based and unique, because I wouldn't want someone to go right to the end and then we find out that it's something that is not relevant. They don't have to worry about how well their submission is written, as long as we can get an idea of what it is," explained Gord More, Southeast TechHub executive director.

He noted that people don't need to be technology masterminds or even know how to code. All they are looking for are great and unique technology-based ideas.

"I can't program, yet I helped create a software company and ran it for 20 years. I don't care if you're not a tech person. We will teach you how to run the business. We will help you to find an engineer if you're doing something hardware-based. If you are software, we'll help you connect to programmers. Even if you don't win, and you really like your idea and someone says, 'I'll invest in you', we'll still help you. That's what we do," More said.

"I don't want people to think, 'I have no clue how to program, I have no clue how to design a piece of hardware.' That's fine. Just have a good idea. We'll help you with the rest."

Submissions are accepted from Sept. 1- Oct. 31, at no cost to the participants.

In order to assist the competitors, starting Oct. 1, they will have free access to the Southeast TechHub and a series of workshops including how to write a technology-based business plan and scope, venture capital planning, and how to pitch. Workshops will run Oct. 10, 12 and 19;they are free and open to all.

"We have a number of workshops to help people take their idea to a point where they could actually create a business," More said.

"The first workshop is in partnership with Community Futures Sunrise out of Weyburn and Sask StartUp out of Saskatoon, and they will teach people how to write a business plan, which would also include marketing.

"Then I'm doing a workshop based on my experience, it's called programming in English, and it's teaching people how to write a scope document, which is a document that is in English, but a programmer or an engineer could understand it.

"And then the last one, which is the big one, we're co-hosting it with a group called StartUp TNT. They're unique in that they are private venture capital/angel investors, but they're not for profit. Their operational costs are paid for by Prairie Canada. Because of that, they give out really excellent workshops on how to pitch, how to raise money from private venture. A lot of people will go after government money, but private money is more risk averse, is faster and it's more flexible, so participants will learn all about that," More explained.

The scope, business plan and pitch deck must be submitted by Nov. 17.

The Southeast Pitch competition will be held on Nov. 24, from noon-5 p.m. at the Southeast TechHub. The judges will be from CF Sunrise, Innovation Saskatchewan, Southeast College, SaskPower and possibly SaskTel.

The winner will receive $22,500, courtesy of SaskPower and SaskTel, to develop their technology-based idea along with one year of free workspace and services at the Southeast TechHub.

More notedthat participants who don't win this starting package will still have an opportunity to showcase their ideas and that may result in some development for them.

"The cool thing about all of this is the people that are going to show up, I know a few of them, they are in the private venture world, they're going to watch and they're also going to watch online. So, even if you don't win the $22,500 that we've got from SaskTel and SaskPower, your ideas still might inspire a venture capital person to come along and say, 'Hey, I really like your idea.' And you could end up starting your business regardless of winning or losing," More note.

As of last week, there were already two submissions – one out of Saskatoon, and the other one local, More said. His hope is to have about five applications.

The winner of the pitch competition will have to get their business licence and set up their business in Estevan.

"We're trying to create some technology-based businesses in Estevan, that's the goal," More explained.

The Southeast Pitch competition is supported by SaskPower, SaskTel, CF Sunrise, StartUp TNT, Southeast College and Innovation Saskatchewan.

The seating at the event will be limited, so people are asked to book their spots in advance through the website. It will also be streamed on YouTube.

For more information about how to apply and competition details please visit